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Geography

“Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?” Michael Palin 2009

Geography is a highly relevant and engaging subject to study as it is the only subject that looks at how all the elements of the earth interact and interconnect.  Studying Geography will help you see clearly and understand accurately the environment that surrounds you. 

The aims of the Geography department are to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to evaluate and challenge the way in which their world operates
  • Achieve their maximum academic potential through a dynamic and engaging programme of study
  • Insist on high standards of behaviour and presentation
  • Foster a regime of acknowledgement, praise and reward
  • Provide extra-curricular opportunities which further students’ interest in the subject

All teaching groups are organised as mixed-ability classes. Central to the study of Geography at QEGS is the spirit of enquiry: we seek to get students asking questions about the world in which they live.

The Geography Department develops a variety of geographical skills such as map work, photo analysis, text work, enquiry, group work, presentation skills and critical thinking. Fieldwork is a key part of the Geography curriculum across all key stages and incorporates the use of new technology. ICT is embedded within teaching and learning including the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Interactive whiteboards are available in each teaching room. Assessment for Learning is an integral aspect of teaching and learning within the department: success criteria are shared with students, with them regularly carrying out assessment of their own work as well as that of their peers.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

  • Making and Mapping Connections
  • Exploring the World
  • Exploring Britain
  • Exploring Barnet
  • Weather and Climate
  • Global Fashion Industry
  • Population Issues 
  • Migration 
  • Coastal Environments 
  • The rise and rise of China
  • The World of Work – Time for Coffee, Industrial Change and the Land of smiles – Tourism in Thailand
  • Natural Hazards
  • Decision Making Exercise - Iceland
  • Antarctica
  • Fantastic Places
  • Development Geography

 

The Year 7 course will be following the new 2014 National Curriculum whilst the Year 8 and 9 course will continue with the 2008 National Curriculum.

Assessment

  • Students are expected to complete one formal assessment for each unit of work which will be assessed according to National Curriculum Levels. These pieces of work could take the form of a written assessment, presentation, project or a test.
  • Ongoing assessment of student work is carried out by teaching staff both within class and of homework activities. Marked work will include a level, a What Went Well comment and an Even Better If comment. Students will be expected to respond to marking by answering “think pink” questions which will extend and develop students’ skills in preparation for their formal assessment. Students are also encouraged to assess both their own and their peers work on a regular basis.
  • Students will also complete an End of Year test after the May half term assessing them on all aspects of the Geography curriculum they have studied during the year. There will be preparation for this during lesson time to support students.

To support your daughter’s learning it is recommended that you:

  • Ensure that your daughter completes all homework tasks and hands in to her class teacher by the deadline set.
  • Ensure that your daughter is reading and reflecting on feedback given so that she is clear about how to make progress.
  • Remind your daughter that all work should be completed to the best of her ability and that presentation of work is extremely important.
  • Encourage your daughter to access additional information about the subject which can help to develop her interest, understanding and enjoyment. For example watching the news, reading relevant newspaper articles reporting on events such as earthquakes, volcanoes, or extreme weather events or using the internet which can provide a wealth of information relevant to the study of Geography (see recommended websites).

Key Stage 4

Geography is a very popular option; currently we have 87 students in Year 10 who have opted to study the subject at GCSE. Students have 6 lessons each two week cycle.

Unit 1 Dynamic Planet (25% of the total GCSE)

  • Section A – Introduction to the Dynamic Planet. Compulsory topics: Restless Earth, Climate and Change, Battle for the Biosphere and Water World.
  • Section B – Small-scale Dynamic Planet. Optional topics: complete one of either Coastal Change and Conflict or River Processes and Pressures.
  • Section C – Large-scale Dynamic Planet. Optional topics: complete one of either Oceans on the Edge or Extreme Climates.

Unit 2 People and the Planet (25% of the total GCSE)

  • Section A – Introduction to People and the Planet. Compulsory topics: Population Dynamics, Consuming Resources, Globalisation, Development Dilemmas.
  • Section B – Small-scale People and the Planet. Optional topics: complete one of either The changing economy of the UK or Changing settlements in the UK.
  • Section C – Large-scale People and the Planet. Optional topics: complete one of either The challenges of an urban world or The challenges of a rural world.

Unit 3 Making Geographical Decisions (25% of the total GCSE)

  • This unit will assess students’ ability to make decisions about geographical issues and justify them.
  • The unit includes the pressures (conflicts), players and options that are involved in making geographical decisions and which are related to sustainable development and environmental issues.
  • Students will be expected to make synoptic links to Unit 1 and 2 within the exam.

Unit 4 Researching Geography (25% of the total GCSE)

  • For this unit students need to complete a fieldwork investigation and report. They must complete one of the tasks provided by Edexcel, on one of the following themes: coastal environments, river environments, rural/countryside environments, town/city environments.

Bold and italics denote the optional topic we study.

The course is taught by alternating between the topics in Unit 1,2,3. This supports students’ ability to make links between the topics which are necessary for the Unit 3 exam.

The Controlled Assessment (Unit 4) is complete during the Spring/Summer of Year 10.

Name of Subject:  GCSE Geography
Examination Board Syllabus:  Edexcel B Geography Syllabus

Assessment
The information below provides details of how the Linear Edexcel B Geography GCSE is examined.

Unit 1 Dynamic Planet

  • This unit is assessed through a 1 hour 15 minute, tiered, written examination, which contains a mixture of questions styles. The paper has a maximum of 78 marks, with 48 marks in Section A, 15 marks in Section B and 15 marks in Section C.
  • Of the 78 raw marks available, up to 6 marks are awarded for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. 

Unit 2 People and the Planet

  • This unit is assessed through a 1 hour 15 minute, tiered, written examination, which contains a mixture of question styles. The paper has a maximum of 78 marks, with 48 marks in Section A, 15 marks in Section B and 15 marks in Section C.
  • Of the 78 raw marks available, up to 6 marks are awarded for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. 

Unit 3 Making Geographical Decisions

  • This unit is assessed through a 1 hour 30 minute, tiered, written examination.
  • 53 marks are available spread across questions.
  • Of the 53 raw marks available, up to 3 marks are awarded for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.
  • A resource booklet will be available in the examination. The examination will relate to the material in the booklet.

Unit 4 Researching Geography

  • This unit is internally assessed under controlled conditions. Students complete one of the fieldwork tasks from the list provided by Edexcel. They must write up the fieldwork task under controlled conditions.
  • The task is marked out of a total of 50 marks, across the following areas: planning, methods of data collection, data presentation and report production, analysis and conclusions and evaluation.
  • The task will be marked by the class teacher and moderated by Edexcel.

To support your daughter’s learning within the subject it is recommended that you:

  • Ensure that your daughter completes all homework tasks and hands in to her class teacher by the deadline set.
  • Ensure that you daughter carries out regular revision of work completed in class, so that when it is time to revise for a unit Module, then the work is more familiar to her.
  • Ensure that all deadlines, especially those in relation to the Controlled Assessment, are met.
  • Encourage your daughter to access additional information about the subject which can help to develop her interest, understanding and enjoyment. For example watching the news, reading relevant newspaper articles reporting on events such   as earthquakes, volcanoes, or extreme weather events or using the internet which can provide a wealth of information relevant to the study of Geography (see recommended websites above).
  • Remind your daughter that all work should be completed to the best of her ability and that presentation of work is extremely important.

Extra Curricular

A variety of extra-curricula activities is available for students to participate in. For example at Key Stage 3 students can participate in the Eco-Council which is a group which meets weekly to discuss and make decisions about how to make the school a more environmentally friendly place, and to raise awareness of environmental issues. At Key Stage 4, gifted and talented geographers are chosen to represent the school in the Geographical Association local area World Wise Quiz which encourages students to develop their wider geographical knowledge. Sixth Form Geographers are encouraged to subscribe to Geography Review to develop their knowledge and understanding of Geography beyond what is taught in the classroom.

Out-of-class learning is a fundamental part of the Geography curriculum at QEGS. All Year 7 students, as part of their unit of work on Exploring Barnet participate in a field visit to High Barnet where investigate the need for rebranding. This fieldwork incorporate the use of iPads so that students can photograph and map areas of deprivation and decline.  In addition, Year 7 students, as part of their unit of work on Weather and Climate, undertake local fieldwork in the school grounds collecting data on micro-climates. This data is then used with the AEGIS programme to produce a GIS map of climatic conditions which are used to inform a decision making task. Students studying GCSE Geography undertake a day’s fieldwork to collect data for their ‘Controlled Assessment’ at the FSC in Epping where they study river processes and pressures. In the Sixth Form, Year 12 students attend a 5 day residential field course at the FSC Centre in Pembrokeshire where they develop their fieldwork skills in preparation for their AS Module on rebranding and coastal environments.